Wow, I decided it’s really challenging to take a picture of salad. But at least this photo allows you to see all the little bits of stuff that makes this salad especially yummy. Perfect for Spring, entertaining and Easter. Aren’t you glad you found it? It’s called, BIG LEAF FRUIT SALAD.
Doesn’t that sound completely caveman? “You get big lettuce, me get big fruit.”
Luckily it tastes very sophisticated and classy.
I think it’s the strawberries (but you could use blackberries, oranges, raspberries or mango), the sugared almonds and the bits of prosciutto that make this salad a show stopper and perfect for a crowd! The different textures and flavors are an interesting blend.
This salad BEGS to be eaten even though my photo doesn’t make it look that way.
So here we go. Get your apron…I’m waiting…waiting…whew, I thought you weren’t coming.
Here’s all you need to impress everyone you know during the Spring holidays; Lemon juice, honey, shallots, fresh thyme, salt, red pepper flakes, vegetable oil, olive oil, slivered almonds, unsalted butter, sugar, butter lettuce, Belgian endive, radicchio, prosciutto and strawberries. Okay that’s a lot but the ingredients are in small proportions.
So first let’s make the sugared almonds. These add a very special crunch and sweetness to the salad that help make this a special dish.
Here is that unsalted butter again. The butter I consider to be only half as good as salted butter (because I’m a professed saltaholic).
“Hey you…come here…come on…I’m scared…we’re melting…it’s so hot in here….AHHHHHH!” 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter is all you need to get this party started.
These are slivered almonds. Not to be confused with silvered almonds. I think I called them that until I was about twenty-two when I walked around the store looking for silvery nuts. Yeah, I was really lame then.
Add 3/4 cup of slivered almonds to the melted butter and sauté until they are golden brown. It doesn’t take long.
Now for the sugar. We don’t need very much so why drag out the giant container. Use your sugar bowl or sugar dispenser like this one. On April Fool’s day I will fill this with salt and put it out with the cereal for breakfast. My family really looks forward to jokes like that.
Remove the pan from the heat and add 2 Tablespoons of sugar and a Pinch of Salt. A pinch is smaller than a smidgen and a dash. A dash is the smallest measurement of these three quantities that are all completely ambiguous.
Really stir these up, incorporating the butter and sugar and just let them sit and soak up the sauce until they are dry. They will taste like little candies when they are done.
Now for the dressing…mmmmmm
Go pick a lemon off your tree and get the squeezer out.
You will need 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. I am pouring it into a jar because I like to make my salad dressing this way. I think it’s easier to just shake it up, than whisk it all together. Just make it however you like.
Now grab you’re honey bear…mine is almost empty.
Add 3 Tablespoons of honey to the lemon juice.
This is your brain.
This is your brain on drugs.
This is your brain on drugs being donated to science. 1 Tablespoon (shallot) is all that’s necessary.
It’s time for some thyme! Hey, I was desperate here.
Take your time when adding 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme. I know, I know, but it’s late.
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt…
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes…
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil…
My favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil; it really is.
2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil works well.
Now shake it all up and put in the refrigerator to cool. You can refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Hint: You can make this the day before to save time and leave those last few minutes to throw everything in the closets before your guests arrive.
Now for the fruit. Remember you can use other fruit as mentioned earlier. I really like the strawberries in this salad.
Depending on the size of your strawberries you can either quarter them or halve them into bite size pieces. 2 cups of cut strawberries will be sufficient.
Now let me ask you…wouldn’t you rather have a hairy Italian looking guy with a big mustache on your prosciutto label than Columbus? I mean doesn’t this seem a little less authentic?
So the reason I buy packaged prosciutto for this recipe as opposed to going to the deli counter is because it’s less fatty and seems to work better in this salad.
You will need 4 ounces of prosciutto cut into bite size pieces.
Now for all the lettuces. Ultimately you can use whatever lettuce is your favorite. I chose some colorful ones torn into large pieces to show off their differences. Just use a couple different kinds and it will be great. I promise.
2 heads of Butter lettuce leaves.
Not can you tell what these are…they’re torpedo’s or Belgian Endive.
Now for a 1/2 head of radicchio. I would not recommend radicchio if you have never tried it and are not sure if you like it. It’s very bitter. It looks pretty, but if you are not sure about the taste or have guests that you’re not sure about, go with another crunchy lettuce. It won’t matter.
Now rip all your lettuce leaves. Don’t chop them, tear them. And since it’s called the Big Leaf Lettuce Salad leave the lettuce a little big. But not too much.
Now take all your lettuce (whatever kind you choose) and toss with the vinaigrette.
Garnish with the sugared almonds, strawberries and prosciutto.
See all the berries and prosciutto and THE ALMONDS! I know this photo is for the birds but in person this salad is a beauty and perfect for a Spring meal.
Remember choose your favorite lettuce according to your taste and try to use at least two kinds.
I hope you enjoy it…it’s a keeper.
Big Leaf Fruit Salad
adapted from Cuisine at Home
For the vinaigrette-
Combine and mix well:
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon shallots, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Sugared Almonds-
Saute in 2 T. Unsalted Butter:
3/4 cup slivered almonds
Off Heat, Add:
2 Tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
For The Salad-
Toss With Vinaigrette:
2 heads of butter lettuce leaves
2 heads Belgian endive leaves
1/2 head radicchio leaves (optional)
or just use your favorite lettuce
4 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced
2 cups strawberries, halved or quartered, depending on size
Combine all ingredients for the vinaigrette and mix well. Refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Saute almonds in butter over medium heat until golden. Off heat, add sugar and salt.
Toss lettuce leaves with vinaigrette.
Garnish with prosciutto, strawberries and almonds.